Tuesday, 18 July 2017 07:50

ASM Thanks House Appropriations Committee for NIH Funding

Dear Chairman Cole and Ranking Member DeLauro:

The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) appreciates the Subcommittee’s efforts to provide additional funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) within the FY 2018 Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) budget. We applaud the bipartisan support of the Subcommittee which is critical to sustaining the preeminence of biomedical research in the United States.

The Subcommittee’s spending bill provides nearly $34.7 billion in base funding for NIH and utilizes the full $496 million marked for FY 2018 in the NIH Innovation Account established by the Congress in the 21st Century Cures Act. This increase of $1.1 billion above the FY 2017 level falls short of the $2 billion increase recommended previously by the ASM, but is a notable $8.6 billion above the President’s FY 2018 budget request. By rejecting the Administration’s proposed 22 percent budget cut for NIH research, the Subcommittee continues its strong support for biomedical innovation and the R&D enterprise catalyzed by NIH supported researchers and institutions.

We are gratified that the Subcommittee’s FY 2018 bill includes a new provision requiring the continued NIH distribution of funds to more than 2,500 extramural grantee institutions for facilities and administrative costs. The Administration’s FY 2018 budget proposal would have seriously disrupted biomedical research by imposing a restrictive spending cap on indirect costs. In drafting its FY 2018 DHHS bill, the Subcommittee rightly increased funding to fight health threats that include antibiotic resistant bacteria, providing opportunities to further protect public health. We are grateful for the inclusion of funding for the Fogarty International Center.

Through the Subcommittee’s leadership, Congress has consistently recognized the unique role of NIH funded researchers, both intramural and extramural, in building this Nation’s enviable position in biomedicine and related technologies.  NIH supported programs are among the Nation’s strongest defenses in preserving public health and our quality of life. The ASM thanks the Subcommittee for its farsighted tenacity in supporting NIH funded research despite the fiscal challenges.

Sincerely,

Peggy A. Cotter, Ph.D., President, American Society for Microbiology
Ronald M. Atlas, Ph.D., Chair, ASM Public and Scientific Affairs Board
Stefano Bertuzzi, Ph.D., M.P.H., CEO, American Society for Microbiology 

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